Surf socks have several uses—they will of course insulate your feet and thus protect them from the cold. They will also reduce the risk of skin irritation (especially for bodyboarding).
But Surf socks can also be used outside the winter period! Depending on your surf spots, you can also slip on your “reef” shoes to protect your feet from cuts on rocky sea floors.
To choose the right neoprene socks two main criteria must be taken into account: the thickness and the manufacturing method of the sock.
THICKNESS OF NEOPRENE SURF SOCKS
Surf socks are an extension of your diving suit. It is the first accessory that you buy when the water starts getting colder. Ask yourself the right questions before you make your purchase!
– Will I be going surfing in the depths of winter?
– Am I sensitive to the cold?
Wearing surf socks is a decision you should make according to how you feel—there is not really any particular season for using surf socks.
Choose the thinnest possible surf socks that will give the maximum insulation against the cold. The thinner the socks, the more feeling you will have between your feet and your board.
On the other hand, to surf in the summer season on reefs, 1.5-mm thick socks will be more appropriate. Some of these socks have a recycled polyester lining, and this reduces their environmental impact.
THICKNESS OF NEOPRENE BODYBOARDING SOCKS
Bodyboarders have different requirements from surfers—the size of their flippers will be different according to the thickness of the socks!
Flippers must be a perfect fit on your feet. It is recommended to use 2 mm neoprene socks to prevent irritation and to insulate your feet from the cold.
You can use thicker neoprene (3 or 4 mm) for your socks, depending on the size of your flippers. But you must choose the size of your flippers accordingly, or otherwise go bodyboarding barefoot, even in the winter!
NEOPRENE SURF SOCK MANUFACTURING METHODS
Make sure you choose the right neoprene socks. You should also take account of the manufacturing method of this accessory.
As for a surf suit, check whether the socks are sewn, stuck or stuck/sewn with or without liquid tape (silicone insulation).
Depending on the adherence and sensitivity that you are looking for, opt for a thick polyurethane sole or a simple 0.5-mm layer of silicone under the sock.
NEOPRENE SOCK FASTENERS
Finally, look closely at the different types of sock fasteners. Test the type that seems the simplest to use according to your specific needs and the characteristics of your spots. For example:
– A vertical zip makes the sock easier to pull on.
– A Velcro strap on the foot and/or on the ankle holds the foot firmly in the sock.
– An ankle seal on the top of the sock reduces the amount of water that gets in.
N.B.: On some models you will find that the big toe of the sock is separate from the rest of the sock. This unusual split sock gives you better grip and also better sensitivity. Try it and see for yourself!